GCL Orioles 5 at GCL Twins 11
W: M. Munoz (2-1, 3.86); L: S. Taveras (0-2, 12.46)
For the true baseball enthusiast, nothing quite beats a day watching a GCL game. Unlike most minor (and major) league games, there are no distractions. No promotions, no vendors, no - or very few - unattended kids running around. You can focus on the game of baseball.
Which is the whole point of the Gulf Coast League. For the young players who participate in it to focus on baseball.
The GCL Twins picked up Saturday's contest against the Orioles in about the same place they left off Friday's contest with the Pirates. With a lot of hits.
The Orioles got on top first with Gorabez Rosa bunting. Twins catcher Danny Rohlfing picked up the bunt, but threw wide to first letting Rosa advance to 2nd. Jerome Hoes singled out to short and Tyler Ladendorf made a great save on the ball. Unfortunately his throw was from a bad angle and was a bit off, and Anderson Hidalgo could not handle it, ending up with Rosa on 3rd. He'd come home on Dashenko Ricardo's ground out to second.
The Twins answered right back however with Jon Goncalves taking a walk. Aaron Hicks and Danny Ortiz hit back-to-back singles that drove in Goncalves. After a pop out by Ladendorf, Mike Gonzalez singled to drive in Hicks. Andres ground into a force out that took Mike out at 2nd, but Reggie Williams followed that up with a triple that drove in both runners, making it 4-1 Twins. That would end it for Sam Taveras, as the O's got Luiyi Batista out of the pen.
Batista would keep the Twins semi-quiet in the second, although Hicks singled and Ortiz doubled. Ladendorf would reach on a fielder's choice that saw Hicks taken down at the plate.
Diaz led off in the bottom of the 3rd with a single and Williams doubled him over to 3rd. Rohlfing's single plated Diaz, while Hidalgo sacrificed in Williams. Goncalves would reach on a fielding error by the O's 3rd baseman, and a wild pitch would progress the Twins runners. After Hicks struck out, a second wild pitch scored Rohlfing. Ortiz then singled to drive in Goncalves, making it 8-1 Twins. That ended it for Batista, and Jario De La Cruz got to pitch for a while.
Ricardo walked in the top of the 4th off Twins starter Miguel Munoz. Dennis Perez then doubled to move him to 3rd. Grolmann Gonzalez's sac-fly saw the runner score for the O's second run.
Munoz would work five, allowing 2 runs, only 1 earned, on six hits and a walk while striking out 3. Jose Mijares would take over for the next two, making a rehab start. With some luck, the Venezuelan closer will be ready for New Britain or Rochester shortly after the All-star break.
Mijares would get two quick outs in each inning, but back-to-back hits in the sixth and a walk in the seventh made the third out a little more interesting for the small crowd of onlookers.
Luis Lebron would come in for Justin Moore in the top of the 7th. Moore, a side arm pitcher had worked one inning allowing a single and a walk and tossing a wild pitch, but keeping the Twins from the plate.
Lebron saw Rohlfing reach when he failed to catch the ball. Following a fly out to Hidalgo, a passed ball by Janensis Guerrero put Rohlfing on second. Goncalves and Hicks then hit back-to-back singles to plate the Twins catcher. Ortiz would triple, to drive in the pair of runners, making it 11-2.
Everything went along peachy until the ninth inning. We got our first look at Joe Testa in the eighth, who allowed a lead off single to Perez, but got the O's Gonzalez to ground into a double play, then took Javi Santana out on stikes.
Ian Mopas would come in for the ninth, and allowed Justin Martin to walk. He'd get Francisco Mejia to ground into a double play but then gave up singles to Xavier Avery and Rosa. Hoes took a walk to load the bags, and then Ricardo walked to force in a run. Perez singled to score two more before Mopas could get Gonzalez to ground out, ending the game. (Proving to me that Mr. Hendriks was correct and we did have someone on the squad who could potentially blow a 9-run lead.)
The Twins remain at home Sunday against the Reds with yet another noon start for our boys.
Someone had asked me, BTW, about AA infielder Luke Hughes playing for Team Australia in the Olympics. Liam reminded me that the Aussies failed to qualify for the Olympics, so, I suppose you can rule out any possiblity of Mr. Hughes involvement in the event.
The DSL Twins dropped a pair to the DSL Reds, playing the game that had been washed out earlier in the month.
DSL Twins 1 at DSL Reds 4
W: J. Marizan (2-2, 2.23); L: O. Villaroel (1-3, 1.96); SV: S. Gerson (1)
Yancarlo Franco had the lone Twins run, which came in the sixth inning. Franco would double, then score on Yorby Martinez's ground out.
Orlando Villaroel took the loss, allowing 3 runs, earned, on 3 hits and a walk while striking out 4 over 3.
DSL Twins 1 at DSL Reds 3
W: E. Infante (1-0, 0.44); L: L. Vargas (1-2, 4.40)
Danny Santana singled in the top of the 4th, then stole second base. Jairo Rodriguez then doubled him in for the Twins only tally.
Lesmir Vargas took the loss, putting a run on base via a walk, and seeing him advance on a sac bunt. Jose Gonzalez would then come in a allow a double to score the inherited runner to put the Reds ahead.